"Nuts," Mr. Dickey said, and nodded toward the cell
where the man lay on the cot.
Outside, when he stood in the courthouse yard, he saw the
sunshine falling over the roofs of the buildings and on the
stones and the young grass. People were moving up and
down the street. People he knew. He walked soberly across
the square toward his office.
He had gone to the jail afraid to tell Doctor MacDonald
what the board had done. He had been afraid of the way
Doctor MacDonald might take it. He should have known,
he thought now, the way it would be: Doctor MacDonald
standing there in the middle of the cell floor, his weight
forward off his heels, his face showing nothing. It was Doc-
tor MacDonald who had laid a hand on his shoulder, and
had said, "Take it easy." It had gone past Doctor Mac-
Donald and had never shaken him.
But the next day when he saw Doctor MacDonald he was
not so sure. Watching him stand at the cell door, ready to
call Mr. Dickey, Doctor MacDonald said suddenly, "Don't
it smell in here to you?"
Mr. Munn turned to look at him.
" Don't it stink?" Doctor MacDonald demanded.
"Yes," Mr. Munn admitted, aware, anew, of the fetid,
almost sweet odour, as of rottenness, "I reckon it does, a
"It stunk mightily to me, at first," Doctor MacDonald
said, " but it don't seem like it stinks now. A man gets used
to a thing. It gets natural to him." He stopped moving
about, as he had been doing, his carpet slippers making a dry,
sliding noise on the concrete. " That's what I don't like," he
added, "it getting so natural. It looks like a stink oughter
stay a stink to a man."
Mr. Munn grinned, thinking it a joke. Then he noticed
that Doctor MacDonald was not grinning. Mr. Munn let the
muscles of his face relax.
Doctor MacDonald lay down on the cot, staring up at the